One-by-one, the Novices stepped forward and knelt before their respective Provincial Ministers, placing their hands into his and professing, "To the praise and glory of the Most Holy Trinity, I, Brother N., since the Lord inspired me to follow more closely the Gospel and the footprints of Our Lord Jesus Christ, before the brother here present and into your hands, Brother N., with firm faith and will: vow to God, the Holy and Almighty Father, to live for a period of one year in obedience, without anything of my own, and in chastity, and at the same time, I profess the life and Rule of the Friars Minor, confirmed by Pope Honorius, and promise to observe it faithfully in accordance with the Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor. Therefore, I give myself to this fraternity with all my heart so that, through the efficacious action of the Holy Spirit, guided by the example of Mary Immaculate, through the intercession of our Father Saint Francis and all the saints and supported by your fraternal help, I can constantly strive for perfect charity in the service of God, of the Church, and of Humankind."
Following their profession of vows, each received a new cord for their habit, this one now with the three signature knots of the friars minor representing the three vows, replacing the cord that they had worn throughout their Novitiate year that had no knots.
Making their First Profession:
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province (Franklin, WI):
Br. Jason Shell, OFM
Christ the King Province (Western Canada):
Br. John-Paul Markides, OFM
Holy Name Province (New York):
Br. Dennis Bennett, OFM
Br. Casey Cole, OFM
Br. Edgardo Jara-Araya, OFM
Br. Ramon Razon, OFM
Immaculate Conception Province (New York):
Br. Roberto Serrano, OFM
Br. Walter Vijil, OFM
Our Lady of Guadalupe Province (New Mexico):
Br. Miguel Alacántar Gonzalez, OFM
Br. Edgardo Diaz Vazquez, OFM
Br. Samuel Zamora de los Santos, OFM
Sacred Heart Province (St. Louis, MO):
Br. Edward Tverdek, OFM
St. John the Baptist Province (Cincinnati, OH):
Br. William Estrellanes, OFM
The celebration of First Profession brought to a conclusion the third year of the Interprovincial Novitiate endeavor that now includes all seven U.S. Provinces, plus Western Canada and the Holy Spirit Province of Australia. Throughout the year, the Novices engaged in classes on religious life and the vows, prayer and Franciscan spirituality, liturgy and music, and the sources and the Rule and Constitutions. They also took part in a variety of workshops and retreat experiences, as well as volunteer opportunities.
In two weeks, the Interprovincial Novitiate will enter its fourth year and expects to welcome up to 13 men to begin their Novitiate year on August 14. Friars from member Provinces are welcome to attend the celebration of Reception of Novices, according to Novice Master Ralph Parthie, OFM. In addition to the Novice Master, the rest of the Novitiate Team includes Friars Dennis Shafer, OFM; Henry Beck, OFM; and Scott Brookbank, OFM. Br. Norbert Bertram, OFM, serves as Guardian of the local community there.
The Interprovincial Novitiate is located in a friary of the Assumption BVM Province. The Provincial Ministers of all of the participating entities took time on Friday to thank Assumption Provincial Minister John Puodziunas, OFM, and the friars of his Province for being gracious hosts and "great landlords" for the novitiate.
In attendance to receive the vows of their Novices were the following Provincial Ministers: John Puodziunas, OFM (Assumption BVM), Dennis Vavrek, OFM (Christ the King), John O'Connor, OFM (Holy Name), Primo Piscitello, OFM (Immaculate Conception), Gino Correa, OFM (Our Lady of Guadalupe), William Spencer, OFM (Sacred Heart), Jeffrey Scheeler, OFM (St. John the Baptist). Vice President of the Conference and Provincial Minister of Ireland Hugh McKenna, OFM, was also in attendance.